Local startups swim in shark tank

first_imgRichard Biggs of Atlantric moderates and evening event at PubTalk on Tuesday in Vancouver. Most of us indulge in impulse buying on occasion, perhaps choosing a smartphone that has more dazzle than functionality, or a sporty car that’s fun but doesn’t quite fit the family’s needs or budget.But “sharks” who invest in startup companies aren’t exactly impulse buyers. They want to put their money into startups that will yield a large return, very quickly. They’ve learned to look beyond a great idea to ask questions about the business skills and financial investments of the company’s founders and core staff; a company’s growth and marketing plans; the state of competition; and when they expect to make a profit.Four local companies — three from Southwest Washington and one now based in Portland — entered the “shark tank” Tuesday evening at Clark County PubTalk, making their best pitches to a panel of five business investors and experts. The presenters ranged from a self-described geek inventor with the Camas company Focus Designs, which makes self-balancing unicycles, to the practical-minded ePark Systems, based in Woodland, which has devised an in-vehicle parking meter that can be used in place of on-street meters.Other presenters were Epoch Inc. of Vancouver, which is creating technology for storage and organization of media production; and On The Go Platforms, registered in Washington but operating in Portland, which is developing software for the budding Smart Glasses technology.In the end, the “sharks” gave their highest ratings to On The Go Platforms, which offered the most detailed presentation. The second-place prize went to Focus Designs, which delivered the flashiest presentation, with David Martschinske, the company’s young chief operating officer, riding a unicycle up the aisle at the event at the Fort Vancouver Artillery Barracks.last_img

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